Monday, 29 October 2012

3 Steps for Conflict Resolution

When it comes time to resolve any issues that are either new or ongoing, or dealing with difficult people and situations, it is very common for many of us to shy away and not want to face the problem head-on. In this case, there is no such thing as resolution- because nothing ever gets resolved. It is necessary to understand that proper conflict resolution involves three important steps; it is about knowing how to actively listen, how to understand and acknowledge the “real” issue and finding ways to seek a common solution.

The first most essential piece of the puzzle is learning how to actively listen, which involves three steps. First, the use of non-verbal messaging is very important when displaying that you are interested in what the other party has to say. Cues or invitations can also be used. These include phrases such as “Okay”, “Yes” and “Go On”- all of which signal our attention and will invite an individual to continue talking comfortably. Last but not least, clarification of what has been said is very important. We can do this in one of several ways: by asking questions, summarizing what has been said, or paraphrasing the message in your own words.
The next step is developing an understanding and acknowledging the real issue that you are experiencing- personally or professionally. It is important to clarify what the issue is, when it started and what feelings and emotions came along with it. By identifying the real issue, all parties will be able to understand more fully why there is conflict occurring and how it can be properly dealt with. In order to walk away from a situation having everyone mutually content, a common solution must be achieved. No good can come from a “temporary” fix to a problem. In order to build solid relationships for the future, each and every conflict should result in a common solution that will evenly satisfy all parties. This will prevent future issues from escalating, and will leave everyone with a confident feeling of knowing how to pursue a resolution process which will achieve a favorable end result- every time! 

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